“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

Alright.  I’m back.  Back back.  Back for more.  Back with a vengeance and a bone to pick.

WARNING: It’s not usually like this around here, but I say the word “shit” a lot in this one.

One of the positive things that has happened over the past year is that I got fired from my job.  Wait what?  Yeah, I said it.  Getting fired from my job was one of the better points in my year.  I hated that job.  I worked 55 hour weeks getting paid peanuts to stock beer in grocery stores.  It was long and the company was/is a joke.  When my dad got sick the second time and went into hospice, do you know what my boss told me?  “Remember, you’ve still got a job to do.”  Cold-blooded, man.  The salesman that covered my region said the same thing.  One of the many things that my father bestowed upon was a stellar work ethic, so getting the job done was never an issue, but they chose that route.  It was a bad place to be.

So anyway, I worked Friday-Tuesday.  I came in one Friday and my boss pretty much lays into me because the beer in the cooler wasn’t rotated.  All he ever told me was that the beer needed to be rotated on Mondays and Tuesdays.  He yells at me, my supervisor calls as I’m walking to the back of the store and he gives me hell.  Then I get back to where my boss is and he starts up again, ultimately asking me “do you even want to work here anymore?”

I didn’t have an answer.  I didn’t want to work there.  I didn’t want to not have a job but I definitely didn’t work there.  So I shrugged.  That was enough for him and the end of my time there.

Whatever.  Their loss.  That’s not my point.

Neither is this.  I went for about a week trying to find something, anything to get some money coming in.  I applied for unemployment.  I sold some of my belongings.  I did what I could.  After that first week, a friend of mine that just worked weekends at the beer place calls and says that he might be able to get me on at the traffic products company he worked at during the week (his “real job”).  Traffic products?  I thought.  I don’t know.  But I needed money like nobody’s business so I told him I was in.  So I came in and I busted my ass like I always do at work.  I hustled to learn the products and processes.  I was making less than I did at the beer job, but like I said, I have a pretty damn good work ethic so I got in there and did the damn thing.  Within a week, I went from being a floater to having a legit position.  Within a few weeks, the owner promoted me to Warehouse Foreman.  Over the next few months, I continued to hustle and learn and get the warehouse into shape.  A few weeks ago, I got promoted to Production Manager, overseeing the warehouse and the in-house sign shop.

And that is part of my point.  Hustle is important.  Work is important.  Responsibility is important.

Now that I’m a manager, I get to, well, manage other people.  I’ve got the Production side of it, but I’m not a huge fan of, well, other people.  I’ve got about seven guys total that I supervise and their kind of a mixed bag.  A couple of them are something else and one in particular has proven to be a real piece of work.  He’s been there for about a year.  He stayed around even after a bunch of people broke off and created a competing business.  He stayed even when shit got real heavy and we were overwhelmed with the size and numbers of sign orders coming in. That’s great.  But he also makes a bunch of mistakes.  And he gets stoned a lot of time before work.  And sometimes during work.  And probably always after work.

So he’s gotten in trouble for other things that may or may not have had to do with him being stoned.  I don’t think he’s a bad guy and I could give a shit less what he does after work, but I can guarantee that his personal stuff is bleeding into his professional performance.  He’s had some more issues lately and made some dumb mistakes and we’re also (unrelated) trying to cross-train some other people (myself included) to do the sign design on the computer, a task which, until now, was more-or-less exclusively his to do.  Now, he’s (understandably) worried that he’s training his replacement (not necessarily true).

I’ve been in this situation.  I trained a guy a few jobs back that wind up getting the promotion that I had been training for.  It’s a terrible feeling.  But I didn’t give up and let things fall to the wayside.  I’ve never gotten into a bunch of trouble at work (just fired out of nowhere!) and been worried about someone else taking my job, but I imagine it’s not too far off.  I imagine that I would be walking on egg shells trying to make sure that I didn’t rock the boat or piss the big bosses off.  But what does this guy do?  He rocks the boat.  He pisses the big bosses off.  And now he’s that much closer to actually losing his job.

This blows my mind some, but what really gets me is his response to getting formally in trouble today.  He assumes the role of the victim.  Oh, everyone’s so hard on him (they’re not).  Oh, he’s done so much for the company (not really).  Oh, he was just taking a few minutes to vape in the warehouse (big no-no).  Oh, nobody likes him (not true).  What the hell, man?  You messed up.  A lot of times.  And you got a hundred extra chances.  And everyone coddles you and tries to make it easier for you so as not to ruffle your feathers and you don’t feel appreciated?  Give me a break.

My point in telling you all of this, whoever you are, is that you have to take responsibility for you: yourself, your actions, your life, etc.  No one’s going to take responsibility for a grown man.  No one wants to spend extra time and effort making your life easier at their expense.  Maybe they will for a little bit, but not forever.  And why would you want that?  If you’re unhappy somewhere, go somewhere else.  God Bless America.  40 hours a week is too much time to spend somewhere that you hate that much.  Also, are you giving it your all?  All 110%?  Roll up your sleeves, do it to it, and see if your situation improves.  If it doesn’t, it probably wasn’t meant to be.  And that’s okay.  No one’s going to hate you for wanting to do something else.  No one’s going to kill you for leaving your desk, your office, your job.

Take responsibility, take charge of you and all of your shit and figure it out.  Because no one else is going to do it for you.

That’s all.

 

Responsibly,

Glass

“Strength shows, not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hello old friend.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I have four good friends, including my wife.  She’s the only one who lives close and out of the four, I’ve known her the shortest, although most of the time it feels like I’ve known her my whole life.

The next closest is the one I’ve known the longest (going on twenty years now, buddy!).  He lives about three and a half hours away.

My next closest geographically, and the one I’ve known the next longest (what is it? 13 years now?) lives about eight and a half hours away.

The farthest lives about seventeen hours away by car and I met him a few months after I met the last guy.  We made that drive once.  From there to here.  It was an amazing experience.  We drank caffeinated beverages and ate No-Doze like they were candy.  We drove through a exaggeratedly-lit tunnel in and under Alabama that I still see in my dreams sometimes.  We skated across the foggy swamps of Louisiana in a fog of our own.  We jammed Tom Waits and Modest Mouse and whatever else the burned CDs and iPods had in store.  It was something else.  Surreal but Hyper-real.  Life-changing to say the least.

We don’t talk as much as we used to.  Life’ll do that.  But he’s still one of my best friends and when we do talk it’s always a treat.   I talked to him earlier today.  I’ve had a whirlwind of a past year or so and I’m trying once again to start over for the last time so I needed some feedback.  Do you know what he left me with at the end of the conversation.  Verbatim:

“.. get the blog back!  Its been almost a year man”

Damn, Bones.  You got me again.  So here it is.

I didn’t know what to write about when I started this.  I just knew that I wanted to get it going again.  Make some changes.  Do some things more and and some things differently from here on out.  Restart.  Start again.

It’s been a rough year.  We observed? celebrated? the one-year anniversary of my Dad dying a few weeks ago.  I’ve dipped in and out of depression and anxiety and anger and fits of manic happiness and numbness.  I got fired from my job for not doing something that I was never told to do.  I got another job and have since nearly double my wages.  My wife and I had another beautiful baby girl, born on what would’ve been my father’s 69th birthday.  I’ve been beaten and lifted and soothed and then beaten and lifted and soothed all over again.  It has been, in my own words, “a landmark year.”  But I’ve gotten through it.  Not flawlessly or expertly or effectively and sometimes just barely.  But I’ve gotten through it.  So far.  I don’t think the struggle will ever go away.  I don’t necessarily want it to.  But I’m changing the way I react to it.  I’m going to struggle regardless, so why now struggle for what I want?  For me, my wife, our family.  I’m starting anew and I’m starting here and now.

My wife, my best friend told me today to “choose my hard.”  She said it’s all hard: going to work, doing the things, why not pick the hard that works for you?  Goddamn brilliant.  So I’m choosing this for her, for me, for us, for anyone and everyone and no one.  I’m choosing my struggle and carving out the life that I think is worth struggling for.

Here we go.

 

Again,

Glass